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Posted By: Dave Gaddy on: 04/19/2010 22:34:10 EDT
Subject: RE: Breaking the SC code

Message Detail:
Tom, As an added thought, you'll have noticed on p. 512 Mr. Sears's note of the debt he owed to the late Ed Fishel. Sears hailed the appearance of Ed's "The Secret War for the Union," and fully grasped Ed's discovery of the Sharpe(BMI) records among the Hooker papers (as well as the Pinkerton reports among the McClellan papers). Given his WW II background, Ed fully grasped the implications of what he had found, and, as a craftsman and former journalist, was careful in his choice of words and precision of vocabulary. Back in the early '60s (19xx, that is), Ed and I had several discussions on these matters, but recognized the added complication of trying to understand what the people of the 1860s were saying -- what they understood and what they were conveying to others not as intimately acquainted with the technicalities involved (not unlike the problem that haunts us yet). Thanks to his findings, I have a probable "first edition" Alexander version of the Myer code-- perhaps the one he introduced at First Manassas -- certainly the one used on the Peninsula when Capt. Norris abandoned his fixed-pole signal system for the Alexander-Myer system. The info came from former Norris signalmen captured and then interrogated by Pinkerton.

I regret that Ed, Bill Tidwell, Paul Scheips and others didn't live into the Google era. Their imprints continue to be reflected here from time to time, and I often wonder if, somehow, they look in on the forum.

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